Chet Skwarcan is an award-winning engineer, writer, and industry innovator in the field of traffic engineering. He is known for leveraging his creativity, logic, and technology to solve today’s engineering challenges.

Everything I Needed to Know About Traffic

I Learnt in the Second Grade

Almost everything I know about solving traffic problems I learnt (learned?) in second grade from dear ol’ Mr. Hemoglobin. “Where you have a lot of cars, you have a lot of traffic,” he’d often say. And trust me, after writing that 500 times one tends to remember it. One also gets very good at counting, which, if you’re not careful, could land you a job in the traffic engineering profession — “Do you love to count? Yes! Do you love to count cars? Yes! Wait. What???

I have no idea how Mr. Hemoglobin knew so much about traffic. At the time, of course, I never gave it a second thought. I assumed second grade was the year we learn about traffic. Third grade would be something else. Probably how to make bowling pins or a harpsichord. Needless to say, Mr. Hemoglobin changed the trajectory of my life — and this brings us to a most comforting perspective about today’s traffic and traffic trends…

By now, we all agree (aside from recent anomalies) that traffic is increasing. Granted, more people are working from home and delivery services are booming, but, in general, there will be more cars on the road five years from now than there were last year. It seems no matter how hard we encourage public transportation, Uber, and carpooling (remember carpooling?) we love our independence. We want to leave when we want to leave and stop along the way whenever we feel like it. That’s hard to do if you’re on a bus (or a hyperloop).

And parallel to the increasing number of cars on the roadway is an increase in technology. And this results in safer and more efficient use of our roadway system. Which means (eventually), autonomous features allowing for closer spacing of cars and (eventually) hands-free driving for all. And THIS means no more traffic signals, or lane lines, or wait for it, a huge reduction in accidents. Removing human error from the crash equation worked well for the airline industry with the advent of auto-pilot — it’s only a matter a time until it becomes ubiquitous in the automobile industry. So you see, it’s true, where you have a lot of cars you have a lot of traffic. But, you won’t even notice…

Chet Skwarcan (traffic engineer, author, unique insights) with over 25 years of traffic engineering experience — online ideas available at or